Washington, DC – Foreign Policy for America is saddened by the recent passing of Governor Bill Richardson. We extend our condolences to his family and loved ones at this difficult time.
Governor Richardson dedicated his life to public service. He served as a U.S. Representative of New Mexico for 14 years, where he eventually joined Democratic leadership as deputy majority whip. Following his tenure in Congress, Richardson represented the United States as Ambassador to the United Nations and served as U.S. Secretary of Energy under the Clinton Administration. He then served as a beloved Governor of New Mexico for two terms. Following a run for President in 2008, Governor Richardson created the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, a nonprofit foundation working to promote international peace and dialogue.
Throughout his distinguished career Governor Richardson demonstrated a striking ability to use diplomacy to advance American interests, establishing backchannels and effectively engaging with autocratic countries – often meeting with leaders that American officials could not or would not meet with. His unyielding belief in the power of diplomacy enabled him to successfully secure the release of dozens of Americans unjustly detained overseas, including from Russia, North Korea, and Iran.
His passing leaves a large diplomatic vacuum in a world struggling with conflict and strife. While we mourn the loss of this great American leader, we celebrate his life and legacy as a reminder that diplomacy is an effective tool of first resort for American foreign policy.